Review repatriation of the Constitution

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Grade 10 History of Canada Unit 5


Repatriation of the Constitution


Why did Trudeau feel it necessary to repatriate Canada’s Constitution?

So Constitution could be based in Canadian law.

What is an Amending Formula?

The process by which the Government of Canada and the provinces could change the constitution in the future.

Why is an Amending Formula important?

Provinces wanted to retain the power to alter the Constitution if it did not meet expectations or needs.

What is the Amending Formula for Canada’s Constitution?

Federal Parliament and seven of the provinces with 50% of the population can change the Constitution except:

(1) status of French and English as Canada’s official language

(2) status of monarchy in Canada

(3) actions to change representation in Parliament or Supreme Court.
For the exceptions, unanimous consent is required from all ten provinces and the two houses of the federal Parliament (Commons and Senate) to make a change.
What is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Basic rights to which Canadians are entitled.

What is the Notwithstanding Clause?

Method by which Government of Canada or provinces could opt out of a guarantee of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For example, a Provincial law could be established that is contrary to the Charter if a province decides to opt out under the Notwithstanding Clause.

The date of repatriation was 17 April 1982.

Grade 10 History Unit 5



A National Anthem – At Last

Canada is moving toward repatriation of the Constitution, and finally, a fully independent, self-governing nation. Oddly enough, Canada did not have an official national anthem.

O Canada had been performed 100 years earlier on 24 June 1880 at an official function in Quebec City during a St. Jean-Baptiste Day celebration. Quebec musician Calixa Lavalleé composed the music while French poet and judge Adolphe-Basile Routhier wrote the French lyrics.
By WWI, O Canada was as popular as God Save the King (the British national anthem) and the Maple Leaf Forever (a song celebrating Confederation and the conquest of Quebec in 1759) as Canada’s anthem. The alternatives did not recognize French Canadians or other peoples in the modern, diverse Canada.
For Canada’s Centennial, the Canadian Government tried to have O Canada declared the national anthem, but problems arose with the copyright of the lyrics.
On 1 July 1980, Governor-General Edward Schreyer proclaimed the Act Respecting the National Anthem of Canada that made O Canada the national anthem.
O Canada

Our home and native land.

True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise.

The True North strong and free.

From far and wide, O Canada

We stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

NOTE: There are more versus in O Canada but they are rarely sung.

Grade 10 History - Unit 5


The 1960s saw the birth of environmentalism as concerns grew regarding pollution, nuclear testing and wilderness destruction. Environmental organizations began to form on university campuses including Pollution Probe, Greenpeace and OPRIG. These organizations are active today and their operations have expanded worldwide.

Pollution Probe helped restrict the use of DDT as a pesticide by undertaking research and lobbying governments.
Greenpeace effectively publicized a 1970 nuclear test by the USA off Alaska, and within two years, testing had been stopped and the area declared a bird sanctuary. In 1982, Greenpeace’s “Save the Whales” campaign helped declare a moratorium on commercial whaling. During this period, French secret agents blew up Greenpeace’s flagship Rainbow Warrior. A photographer was killed and a scandal rocked the French government.
Other Key Events

Berger Commission and the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Commission

  • During the 1973 energy crisis, USA oil companies wanted to build a pipeline to move oil and gas offshore of Alaska to southern markets. One proposed route was along the Mackenzie River valley to Alberta. While a pipeline would create economic opportunities in Canada’s north, concerns about its impact were noted. Judge Thomas Berger headed the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Commission to learn about environmental and social issues. For two years, Berger traveled to remote Aboriginal communities to listen to the people, and in 1977, he recommended that there should be a ten-year moratorium on pipeline construction. By his action, Berger made Aboriginal people more aware of their political rights.

James Bay Hydorelectric Project

  • Phase 1 of the project was completed in 1984. It consisted of three large hydroelectric dams on the La Grande River in northern Quebec. Phase 2 was planned with dams on the Great Whale River. Together, the two projects would flood an area the size of Belgium. During the 1984 spring runoff, over 20,000 cariboo using their historic migratory route were killed when they tried to cross a river swollen with water diverted by one of the dams. Cree Grand Chief and lawyer Matthew Coon Come effectively uses a media campaign to persuade Vermont and New York to cancel power contracts with Hydro Quebec. In 1995, James Bay Phase 2 was cancelled.

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